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Portables (Games) Sony

Is There Anything Wrong With The PSP? 157

Posted by Zonk
from the nothing-a-good-redesign-wouldn't-cure dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the latest 'Analyze This' series of exclusive Gamasutra features, analysts from Screen Digest, ABI Research and DFC Intelligence look at what Sony and developers can do to improve the PSP platform, to generate more excitement for it among developers, gamers and the industry overall — or if they even need to. 'My feelings on the PSP are mixed: It has shown there is demand for a more high-end portable system. The portable market has room for two competing portable systems. We forecast that over the next five years dedicated portable systems will sell just as many units as the new console systems. However, the PSP could really use a new model. This has been the secret to Nintendo's success.'"
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Is There Anything Wrong With The PSP?

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  • by stratjakt (596332)
    It costs too much.

    Its load times are obnoxious for a portable.

    It's too big to stick in your pocket.

    The control scheme is awkward.

    The games suck.

    The battery life sucks.

    Nobody wants to buy movies again on UMD.

    It is a steaming pile of dogshit. The fact that they have to resort to slashvertisement phony-news articles to sell it is proof of that.

    And c'mon now, daddy pants, own up to it.. All the PSP stories you post are part of the paid "all i want for xmas" campaign aren't they?

    I mean, I cant understand a gee
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      Wow, that was a quick down-mod. I'll take that as a "yes" to my "is sony paying you to pimp their shit" question.

      It's amazing how Sony releases - by no means superior - consoles (PSP and PS3), jacks the cost up to the moon and expects them to sell on the virtue of "can play movies in a new format so you can buy all new movies".

      Then they get all shocked when they don't sell, and use silly "subversive advertising" schemes to generate "buzz".

      They need to know that those types of schemes only generate "buzz" w
      • Punch-Out!! (Score:2, Funny)

        by tepples (727027)

        Ilovebees.com worked for MSFT because Halo was a great game. The same scheme wouldn't have sold any copies of "mike tyson boxing", because it was a pile of shit.
        What was so wrong with Punch-Out!! [wikipedia.org]?
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by stratjakt (596332)
          Punch Out is awesome, I have it in my Playchoice 10. In fact, it's the only game card I have in it.

          It's more of a Playchoice 1 really.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by lmnfrs (829146)

      stratjakt may be trolling but he's mostly right.. The analog control thing is in an uncomfortable position for many people, and many of its best games don't appeal to enough people. I wouldn't say the battery life is bad, but my DS seems to last _forever_ before it needs a charge.

      The whole "white is better, let's chain up a black dude and put it on a billboard" thing probably didn't help either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by macshit (157376)
        The analog control thing is in an uncomfortable position for many people

        What's silly is that they could have made it much better by simply putting the "analogu nub" above the digital pad instead of beneath it -- that would have been 10 times more natural. Of course even better than that would have been to put the nub more towards the center and moved/reduced the (awful) digital pad to make room. With the PSP (unlike playstation controllers) they clearly weren't overly concerned with backward compatbility,
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Doctor_Jest (688315) *
          I have found a way to mitigate the problem of the nub, but it costs $3.99 from Play Asia (there's a better pack of "nubs" than what Gamestop sells.)

          http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-bh-49-en-70-1g ii.html [play-asia.com]

          I currently use the raised "ribbed" nub... (insert phallic joke here..) and it improved my control on Super GnG 100-fold. The 2nd set of platform lava jumps was kicking my arse until I got the new nub... now I'm moving on and running like I stole something... ;)

          It's something to consider. (I actually li
    • "I mean, I cant understand a geek site giving a fuck about it. It's an n-gage that cant make phone calls."
      Really? I'll not argue with you over Slashdot can be considered a geek site anymore but certainly you can understand why a homebrew site might be interested in the PSP, can't you?
      • Re:Yes, there is (Score:5, Informative)

        by mr_mischief (456295) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:57PM (#18636831) Journal
        Homebrew sites were excited as flies at a freshly-fertilized organic tomato farm before Sony repeatedly updated the firmware to get rid of them. Sony seems worried enough about protecting a market for UMD games that they're willing to lose system sales to homebrew game fans.

        People who want a $200-$300 handheld homebrew-friendly system may just go the GP2X [gp2c.com] route instead. I think last time I checked you could still get a PSP to boot Linux from MS Pro Duo and play games on that. If you want a GP2X, though you'll probably just buy a GP2X. The only advantage I can see to PSP over GP2X is that it also plays UMD games, but look at the list of games for the GP2X [gp2x.org].

        Also, try getting OpenSSH, a Gameboy emulator, etc on your PSP without the latest Sony firmware updates screwing all of that over.
        • I still see quite a few homebrew sites that cover the PSP. Yes, Sony has dropped the ball on this. But Sony is a terrible company and no one should buy anything from them. My statement wasn't that homebrew on the PSP is the cat's pajamas. I was refuting what the OP said regarding the lack of interest about the PSP on geek sites.

          Nothing you said was relevant to that refutation.

          • I agree that there's still homebrew interest in the PSP. There seems to be a lot less than there could be, and I've seen quite a few people who were initially interested give up on it completely. Other systems are much more homebrew friendly, from Palm and PocketPC to the GP2X. Heck, Apple does less to mess with homebrew developers than Sony does for PSP homebrewers from what I can tell.
    • by Perseid (660451)
      Being a PSP owner I agree with a lot of that, but there are quite a few good games for the system at this point. Not as many as there are for the DS(which I also own), but I don't feel shafted on my PSP because there aren't enough worthy games. There are.
    • Re:Yes, there is (Score:5, Informative)

      by aikouka (932902) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:11PM (#18636141)

      It costs too much.

      It only costs 30% more than the Nintendo DS Lite right now for more functionality out of the box.

      Its load times are obnoxious for a portable.

      Certain games are bad, yes, but not all. I own 14 PSP games and none of them have load times that have made me annoyed or anything like that.

      It's too big to stick in your pocket.

      Funny, I just put mine in my pocket with no problem and I have the Mad Catz clamshell on it which increases the size quite a bit.

      The control scheme is awkward.

      The joystick is weird, but personally I got used to it fairly easily. Other than that, everything is fine control-wise for me. The issue may actually be that the games you've played are ports of PS(X/2) games and therefore you're used to the PS2 controller layout.

      The games suck.

      Purely personal preference. I mean, like I stated above, I have 14 games and I like them all. I only own about 6 DS games in comparison.

      The battery life sucks.

      You know, my friend complained about his PSP's battery life, but mine's been fairly good for as long as I've owned it. It's been about as good as my NDS when both are at a full charge. I can tell you that if you leave the wireless networking on, it won't last as long. It also eats up power while sitting there dormant.

      Nobody wants to buy movies again on UMD.

      Agreed with that. UMD is useless, because it costs as much as a DVD and unlike a DVD, you have limited use! If the PSP had a video output feature, it may have been better, but there isn't one.
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by flitty (981864)
        I'm sorry, but i have to call bullshit on the battery life issue. My psp will die after 6 hours (if i'm luckY)... and my DS can go upwards of 18 or so hours.

        Funny, I just put mine in my pocket with no problem and I have the Mad Catz clamshell on it which increases the size quite a bit.

        You must have massive pockets. I can stick it in my front pocket, only if i'm standing, and if i don't have anything else. My ds on the other hand, will fit comfortably next to my ipod in my front pocket with little inte

    • psp is the only INTERESTING device out there because its the ONLY portable device with 3d capabilities AS OF YET.
      *rabble rabble rabble*

      Furthermore:
      <a href="http://www.goop.org/psp/gl/">http://www.goop .org/psp/gl/</a>
      <i>My goal with this library is to provide a efficient, useful and (relatively) complete subset of OpenGL which makes all the PSP's hardware abilities available, either through standard OpenGL mechanisms or with extensions.</i>

      please go put that back in your mouth and go
  • by Cthefuture (665326) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:42AM (#18635783)
    No touch screen. PDA's were around way before the PSP came out, it should have been the first thing they thought of. Both the PSP and GP2x suffer from the same problem. A touchscreen makes the device so much more versatile. Web browsers, calculators, calenders, console type applications, etc are much easier to do with a touch screen. It vastly opens up the possibilities for home-brew stuff.

    Both the PSP and GP2x are high-powered cool machines but without a touchscreen I'm going to stick with my Nintendo DS.
    • by AvitarX (172628)
      Web browsers, calculators, calenders on the DS?

      Awsome.
    • by SethraLavode (910814) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:18PM (#18636243)

      The lack of a touchscreen didn't do in the PSP. The GBA was a very capable portable without one, and before the DS (and up to a year afterward), no one would have thought it a viable or vital component. People understand it now, but when the PSP was in development, there was no way they could have foreseen how things would play out (especially at risk-averse Sony).

      No, the biggest problem with the PSP is that it is a powerful system and that it was marketed that way.

      Sony kept referring to it as portable PS2, with all the power of a home console in your hand, and what happens? A bunch of developers rush to port home console games over to the system without thinking about the particular needs of handheld gaming. Long load times, oversized levels, infrequent save points -- these are all things that longtime GBA devs knew to avoid, but were completely overlooked by the studios that were lured in by the easy power of the PSP.

      So, a lot of the poor ports or poorly-thought out originals make their way over to the system, and people get the idea that there aren't any quality games for it. The few that are out there get drowned out by all the garbage, and people are hesitant to spend $40 to take a risk on new games.

      Add in the "homebrew" enthusiasts who were also lured in by the promise of raw power, and it's a recipe for trouble, if not outright disaster.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zoney_ie (740061)
        That's probably one of the more interesting diagnosis and does make it seem unsurprising that it was a recipe for disaster. However you left out the brilliance of the whole UMD mess...
      • Actually the lack of a touchscreen limits the consoles to typical console genres. There is one dimension a touchscreen adds, and this is a mouslike input device, which means it enables genres which are mouse centric (rts, point and click adventures, shooters to a certain degree, but not as good as a mouse) I bought a DS due to mainly the price, face it the PSP as well as the PS3 nowadays was outpriced out of walk into the store and simply pick it up price. The other fact was that I own a zaurus and playing
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kestasjk (933987)
      If I want a game console/PDA/iPod/camera I won't buy a phone!

      Maybe some time in the future portable devices will have modular upgradeable hardware and portable software, and we'll start to see true convergence, but that time hasn't come yet.

      Improving a crappy gaming device by adding a PDA is like improving a crappy car by adding a fridge (damn I just used a car analogy).
    • by StarKruzr (74642)
      I think what you're striking on is that the PSP occupies this uncomfortable edge between "multipurpose device" and "gaming device." It has the power to be a PDA -- or a full-fledged computer, if Sony had put just a little more work into the UI, but its controls work like a game system, and there is no convenient way to switch from one to the other. Sure, you can hook up a keyboard, but that's unwieldy.

      So it's too expensive for a portable game system, but designed wrong to be a portable computing device.
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        The funny thing is that, with it's touch screen, and two screen interface, the DS seems to have a lot more potential as a PDA... although Nintendo has no interest in taking it in that direction. Basically the only thing the PSP has over the DS is power, and seriously, when was the last time you needed to render complex 3D lighting effects on a PDA?

        I just wish Nintendo would come out with a suite of PDA apps. I guess they're releasing Opera in the US this June, but it's supposed to be slow and crippled. But
        • But I can understand why they don't: adding PDA functionality would muddy their image of being a system focused on games.


          Why should that "muddy their image" at all? The only people who would get a PDA cart would be people who don't care about the image of the system. How does Nintendo suffer if one of their machines gains added functionality?
          • by 7Prime (871679) on Friday April 06, 2007 @07:23PM (#18641885) Homepage Journal
            They stand to suffer a lot. Currently, their reputation is built on the image of making "fun, innocent game machines", "toys" if you will (although not just for kids). The moment "work" starts to crop up when thinking about one of their gadgets, the overall image isn't as joyful and innocent as it once was. It's one of the major reasons they're doing so much better than Sony right now, on both fronts... Sony's lost their way in trying to market their devices as "more than just toys". As it turns out, "toys" is exactly what the majority of people who buy the systems want. They don't want the hastle of dealing with various media, they don't want the added complexities that a sophisticated OS brings (Nintendo has caved on this, but with a very intuitive and simple OS). Adding business related material to a device can be a slippery slope, and before you know it, the image of the device changes from "gaming machine", to "multi-functional device".

            Just look, the two most popular handheld devices on the market today are the iPod and the Nintendo DS. I don't think it's just a coincidence that the companies both have made it their mission to only do one entertainment related thing, and do it well.
            • The moment "work" starts to crop up when thinking about one of their gadgets, the overall image isn't as joyful and innocent as it once was.

              Nope. I don't buy it. Suppose someone (not even Nintendo) were to release a PDA/internet cart for the machine. You really think this would affect how 10 year olds think of their best friends' DS and how badly they want to play ::insert multiplayer game here:: with them? It doesn't intersect with their opinion of the machine at ALL.

              Sony's lost their way in trying

            • Actually the most successful devices currently are cellphones, and they probably contradict your statements, given their average functionality. While IPods and the DS are more or less the most promoted ones, cellphones are the most successful ones, people simply are so used to them that they do not get a lot of press coverage nowadays.
    • Sony sells PDAs and laptops, you know :).
  • um games? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@[ ]M.yahoo.com ['SPA' in gap]> on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:43AM (#18635787) Journal
    i suspect the main thing the psp needs are games and not UMD movies. All th PSP has are broken ports and the occasional remix. There is a reason why they have a ps1 emulator on it and most people use it for homebrew.
    • I happened to chance upon a feller working on PS2 ports for the PSP. His experience was that places that people play PSP and PS2 makes PS2 games less than suitable for the PSP. He added that the PSP hardware is good but hamstrung by a slower clock speed than the PS2, insufficient memory bus bandwidth and less graphics processing power. Kudos to those who try...
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is a myth based on a long memory of old news and an unwillingness to look at the current situation.

      http://www.metacritic.com/games/psp/scores/ [metacritic.com]PSP
      http://www.metacritic.com/games/ds/scores/ [metacritic.com]DS

      You can either use the sores, or just look at the games available. Either way, there are both a lot of games and a lot of games people really enjoy on the PSP. Both the total number of games and the total number of high-scoring games is similar to the DS, and if you want to be picky (I don't personally think it's n
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timster (32400)
        Metacritic proves zilch. I've been gaming for over 20 years, and quite frankly I'd prefer the opinion of a drunk hobo over an average videogame "critic". Properly, criticism is a great endeavor, the art of connecting the masses with the wonders of a given form. Video game "critics" in general aspire only to prove to us how cool they are so we will keep reading their drivel. If you got the five good videogame critics into a room and shot them all, it'd be years before anyone without the time to just try
      • They've got Final Fantasy VII Advent Children in the games list? That says it all.
  • by B5_geek (638928) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:43AM (#18635799)
    Don't cripple your product!

    If the PSP had been able to play movies at full resolution from the flash-card instead of only from the craptastic UMD then I would have bought one instead of the Video Ipod that I own now.

  • Encourage homebrew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:44AM (#18635803)
    Stop spending time, effort and money deliberately making it hard for people to develop their own software. Sony should be encouraging that, not making it harder. (They could reinstate lik-sang and pay them damages, too).
    • by WinterSolstice (223271) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:51AM (#18635905)
      Seriously - I couldn't agree more.

      When they announced the PSP I was all about it, but hadn't saved up enough yet. By the time I was ready to buy it, they had already crippled the hell out of it.

      Once that was hacked - they did it again, so I was wary. Now it's just a piece of crap with an attractive screen and nothing to use on it. Two thumbs down. I'll take my low-res DS lite any day. It has these things called "games". They're "fun". I enjoy them, and getting online with it to play games isn't a PITA.
      • by CogDissident (951207) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:01PM (#18636029)
        You know, someone just need to sit Sony down and say "Hey, Sony, this is a portable gaming system. Can you tell me what the purpose of the system is." then slap them in the face when they say something about next generation blah de crap (yes, thats a technical term).

        Games are about the fun, if you make a game system that lacks games like that, that arn't engaging and easy to play on the go. They missed this point obviously because most of their games are made for people who sit around for hours and hours playing the same game.
        • by MeanderingMind (884641) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:08PM (#18636107) Homepage Journal
          I don't know about you, but when I look at the PSP and the PS3 I see the tears of engineers.

          Somethine deep down inside me says, "A team of engineers poured their heart and soul into this, working with the crappy ideas marketing thrust upon them and doing their utmost to take their crap and make something beautiful." The end results may not be magnificent, but I can tell that someone tried to push them in the right direction.

          The PR people need more than a slap in the face. They need to be dragged down to the R&D people and be forced to beg for forgiveness.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by flydpnkrtn (114575)
        Once again I gotta reply to this thread and ask that you guys take a look at the GP2X [gp2x.co.uk]

        I bought one and I never looked back at the other guys/soldiers out here (I'm deployed to Iraq) who bought PSPs and all they talk about is how damn crippled the DRM-loving Sony PSP is.

        And no I'm not a frigging paid shill damnit. Just a happy owner of a product that actually listens to its customers [gp32x.com]
    • "Sony should be encouraging that, not making it harder"

      Sony might be more open to that if they were making a profit on the console itself.
      • by Threni (635302)
        The most consoles that get sold, the more they make from the sale of PSP games. Also, at £150 each in the UK, I don't take the idea that Sony are making a loss from it very seriously. People make that claim about every console ever sold - has it ever been true?
  • It's owned by Sony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:46AM (#18635843)
    There's nothing wrong with it. It's a much better portable than the DS, supporting movies, music, and far better games. (Sorry, dragging crap around with the stylus and shouting into the microphone don't make a better experience, they just make the thing more annoying.)

    But the problem is that it's owned by Sony, and Sony has managed to piss off the gaming community to the point where the mere fact that it's owned by Sony is enough to prevent people from buying it.

    It's sad, really.
    • Don't apologize when expressing your opinion. It makes you look like a pretentious asshole.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by erroneus (253617)
      Sony is worse than that. Sony has pretty much messed up PDAs and PCs/Notebooks. I haven't looked at their TVs lately and I have a 6+ year old camcorder that I haven't had any prolems with, but given the horrible experiences I have had with their other stuff, I'm having a really bad opinion of anything with the Sony name on it. Oh yeah, the Sony battery problems and the Sony/BMG rootkit issues have also been weighed into my opinion.
    • New versions is Nintendo's "Secret to success"? I seem to recall they were selling better than the PSP by far LONG before the Lite was announced.
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:32PM (#18638405) Homepage
      But the problem is that it's owned by Sony, and Sony has managed to piss off the gaming community to the point where the mere fact that it's owned by Sony is enough to prevent people from buying it.

      If the success of the PSP was entirely dependent on sales to people who read slashdot and kotaku, then that in and of itself indicates a deep flaw in its design and strategy.

      Nobody else cares about Sony's asshattery. Ask anyone with a Nintendo DS if they bought the DS instead of a PSP because of the rootkit, Sony PR, Lik Sang, etc, and 99/100 will say "Huh?"

      The simple fact is that while you may dislike the gameplay on the DS, the vast majority of portable console purchasers disagree with you.
    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday April 06, 2007 @02:41PM (#18638581)
      "(Sorry, dragging crap around with the stylus and shouting into the microphone don't make a better experience, they just make the thing more annoying.)"

      I think the massive numbers of people that bought Brain Age would disagree with you on those points.
      • Additionally, do decent point and click adventures and rts games without a stylus our mouse.. good luck
  • by rlp (11898) on Friday April 06, 2007 @11:48AM (#18635871)
    Sony needs to stop allowing their movie / music division to dictate to their consumer electronics division. They added UMD movies to the PSP that nobody wants. They added Blu-Ray to PS/3 and slipped their schedule out a year and added hundreds of dollars to the consoles cost. They keep putting all sorts of unwanted DRM into everything. Sell it off and get back to making well-designed consumer electronics.
    • by Nazmun (590998)
      You cna put movies into the memory card if i remember correctly. Assuming you want to format it yourself. Although burning your onw mini-dvd discs would have been far more awesome.
  • It's too locked down (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Peter Cooper (660482) * on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:01PM (#18636033) Homepage Journal
    I had to go through a ton of headaches just to get my PSP able to run homebrew stuff. I don't run homebrew because I want to screw Sony, but because there's so much good homebrew stuff! One of the biggest things is emulation. The PSP is great for playing NES and Sega Genesis games. The screen is a good size, controls are good, etc.. but Sony requires apps be signed unless you hack your PSP.
    • I looked at the NES emulators... do any of them have configurable buttons? I can't stand the tradition of using Square/X as one button and O/Triangle as the other. I'd rather have Square=B, X=A and bugger the other two.

      Any recommendations?
  • Screwed Up (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:02PM (#18636037) Homepage

    The PSP has had problems from day 1. I own one. I regret it. I haven't touched it in a long time. Their biggest mistake? The control scheme. NO SECOND ANALOG STICK. Considering how Sony really popularized that (during the PS1 time frame) and everyone uses it these days, not having it on the console is a huge mistake. It makes things tough for many of the games out there. Katamari got a weird control scheme, no good camera control in FPSes or 3D platformers (NOTE: I own a DS, which I love, but I think they should have put one analog stick on it). The games draught (as I see it) is the biggest problem. There is only ONE game I can think of that I am looking forward to: God of War for the PSP and I don't even think that has been officially announced.

    How to improve it at this point? Better games, pure and simple. There have been so many games I've played in the past year or two on my DS compared to a tiny handful on my PSP.

    Opening some kind of homebrew (even if regulated and locked down) would give me new interest because then I could make stuff and try other peoples. That wouldn't solve the games problem, but it would help some.

    Interesting system, problems in design, I regret I purchased it (especially considering it's original price).

    • by Perseid (660451)
      "NO SECOND ANALOG STICK"

      Amen to that, brother. Socom for the PSP is probably a pretty decent game but I'll never know because I'll never be able to control it with a D-Pad and an analog nub.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      (NOTE: I own a DS, which I love, but I think they should have put one analog stick on it).

      I have to admit, I *hate* the non-stylus inputs on the DS. The last couple generations of Nintendo portables have been very cool, but to me have had some extremely odd/stupid choices in terms of inputs.

      The "portable N64" (the DS) doesn't have an analog stick! Mario64 and the N64 are what turned the analog stick into the standard for all subsequent (and in the case of the PSX, contemporary!) consoles. But Mario on th
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      no good camera control in FPSes or 3D platformers

      In my ever-so-humble opinion, pretty much every game which gives you full (or near full, like GTA) camera control does so because the camera behaves completely fucking stupidly. It's not in addition to an automatic camera, it's in lieu of it. I'd prefer to just see games with a good camera...

      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        In my ever-so-humble opinion, pretty much every game which gives you full (or near full, like GTA) camera control does so because the camera behaves completely fucking stupidly.

        Which is really funny because GTA has the worst fucking camera behavior I've ever seen. There might be games with worse, but I haven't played them, and they'd basically have to point directly at the ground or the sky the entire time in order to actually show you less than the GTA camera. The fact that the manual camera controls als
  • by psychokitten (819123) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:03PM (#18636055)
    Yeah there's a LOT wrong with the PSP - and nothing that's wrong with it is really anything developers can fix, either.

    Overall, the PSP seems to have been designed for style and coolness first, with usability second. Consequently, the analog stick is pure shit and almost unusable. The D-pad is better, but not a whole lot so. With my smaller hands, the shoulder buttons are all but unusable as well.

    The crossbar interface, or whatever Sony's calling it this month, while lauded on the PS3 - I find to be pretty underwhelming on the PSP as well. Sony should have just thrown this out and again - spent time looking for an interface that was more usable than 'cool'.

    UMD game load-times are so atrociously slow that when I still had a PSP, bothering to change games simply doesn't worth it. If I didn't want to play the game that was already in there, or if I actually turned my PSP off rather than simply putting it on standby you couldn't just pick the system up and get that 'quick game fix' that portables are supposed to be so wonderful for.

    The only place the developers can help of course is in the games department... fortunately (for them,) this is another one of the PSP's huge failings. Quit with the tired, crappy ports, and come out with more new and fun games on the system. Learn it's limitations and weaknesses, especially the media limitations. Design games that are quick to load, don't rely on that crappy analog... thing, and don't make you sit looking at a loading screen for two to three minutes any time you load a save, or move to a new level, or something along those lines.

    As long as the PSP still suffers from THIS, gamers are just going to keep shutting it off and picking their DS back up.

  • The PSP is great, but sony just keep breaking all the best software with their firmware updates.
  • Technical flaws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by strredwolf (532) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:09PM (#18636111) Homepage Journal
    I got a PSP before the price reduction (ARGH!) for video and music, with Wifi being a fringe benifit. I now felt like I wasted my money.

    First, music is fine, don't get me wrong. The native player is nicely built, the interface is decent, and you can stare at it all the time. Video, though, requires a special subsection of the MP4 format that only a few people have cracked (including the Xvid4PSP utility). Oh, and you can't use a MPEG4 codec eazily ether -- you have to use H264. And depending on the firmware, these requirements can and will change (pre-3.30 vs 3.30).

    Second is third party support. There's no cheap UMD burners out there. The UMD format is completely proprietary. You got Memory Sticks which are half-way good, but in order to run anything off of them you need to hack the ROM. Lock-in, anyone?

    Third is Linux support. Right now, there's a slow-developing ucLinux port out there. There's no MMU on the PSP so it's not a GPX2 contender by any stretch. Sony did a good thing by opening the door a tad with Linux support on the PS3. Sony did a bad thing by killing the capabilities on the PS3 while running Linux.

    I'm selling my PSP. For what I want, the iPod is better.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PygmySurfer (442860)
      Not to flame, but the problem here is that you bought the wrong device for your needs.

      Honestly though, it's not really your fault - Sony needs to decide just what they want the PSP to be - is it a portable gaming machine, or a portable media player? Sure, it can do both, but Sony has to decide on it's primary funciton. Instead, they'd rather pitch it as the ultimate solution to whatever you're looking for - gaming, movies, music - and it ends up not doing any of them spectacularly well.
    • I'm selling my PSP. For what I want, the iPod is better.

      I also have a PSP. I love it. However, I'm finding that I use it more for the WiFi, Music and Video as well. I've got 10-12 games but I never really play them (and they do look beautiful and are fun) but I'm just more into my XBox 360 right now. Having said that, I may actually sell mine when the iPhone comes out (i.e. I need a new cell anyway, and it will take care of my WiFi, Music and Video needs too).
  • Paraphrasing James Carville, " It's the games stupid." There's nothing innately wrong with the PSP other than the price maybe. Sure it's not as innovative as the DS, but killer-ap games are what sell consoles and the PSP doesn't have any killer-ap games like the PS2 had in GTA 3.
  • PSProblems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:15PM (#18636211) Homepage Journal
    The biggest problem with the PSP isn't inherent to the system itself, but to the vision of those utilizing it. It's in the very name of the portable itself, "Playstation Portable".

    The PSP is treated as though it were a Playstation console, except portable. Little or no consideration is made that it is any different froma Playstation, save in its hardware specifications. As such, we see ports or sequels to games that fail to take into account the need for a different control scheme and game focus.

    At the same time, it's drawing on many developers who are not used to working in the portable sphere of gaming. They know what sells on console, and assume the same is true on portables. It only takes a cursory look at the software library for the Gameboy and DS to see this is not true at all.

    The result is a system with great potential that is wasted upon people who don't understand it. The PSP and DS both require a fundamentally different approach to game developement than a home console, but only the DS is seeing that.
  • how about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Churla (936633) on Friday April 06, 2007 @12:18PM (#18636259)
    Sony makes it.

    It sounds all "Anti-Sony fanboi" flamish but there are reasons. For years, dare I say decades, I was a Sony zealot. They had some of the best audio components available for a while. I loved the home theater products I purchased from them. I still have an AV receiver of theirs from the 90-92 range running in my gameroom.

    I got turned off starting with the Mini-disc and moving forward. It became somewhat obvious to me that Sony was, as someone else mentioned, letting the media division push an agenda on the hardware division and hardware innovation suffered. The PS3 for instance was a shameless and unhidden push to get a format into prominence by loss selling a console. Any time you have a company selling hardware at a loss hoping to make up the money on software you no longer have an innovative hardware company. (I'm also looking at Apple somewhat with that statement as well , although on a computer hardware front they're starting to do some impressive things lately)

    The fact is if you buy a PsP and use it in accordance with how Sony wants you have a crippled hand-held platform. If the only way to get real performance and value out of the platform involves hacks, that should be a big red flag.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LordVader717 (888547)

      I'm also looking at Apple somewhat with that statement
      How do you sell standard Computer Hardware in a shiny box at twice the normal price and still make a loss? Does Apple even sell that much software? I know they've got iLife, Final Cut, and keep selling updates at full price, but they're definitely still a hardware-focused company.
  • by normuser (1079315) *
    It was made by sony.
  • Needs a second thumb stuck.

    Thats it.

    Homebrew would be a nice feature - I quite like MS XBox approch to homebrew more than the Nintendo (ignore it, but don't overly actively stop it) or the PS3 (too cripped).
  • by kinglink (195330) on Friday April 06, 2007 @01:29PM (#18637323)
    The new formats came years later. There was a Gameboy pocket but the gameboy was still selling well at that point. GBA SP came after millions of Gameboys sold, the DS lite is a better model of the remarkably well selling DS. None of these created new interest, it just enhanced it.

    The PSP's biggest issue is it's a "port" system. A PS2 lite, and not in a good way. You can't use the same discs, or the same data, but you can rebuy your favorite PSX and PS2 games for use on your PSP.

    What the PSP needed was a DS line up of unique games. Games we haven't played before and will play again and again on every system. Nintendogs alone sold more DSes than probably any other game while the PSP was trying to sell Burnout 3 and wipeout for the 3rd or fourth time.

    That's not to say the PSP is bad. It has at least twice the power of the DS, but the unique and great games (like Lumines) gets caught up in the millions of ports which have a been there, done that feeling. Instead of greenlighting everything the PSP should have told developers no to ports (or at least demanded a non port for every port. The DS does have ports but it also has it's own unique games which is what is selling their system when the PSP is struggling.
  • The PSP is alright (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday April 06, 2007 @01:42PM (#18637559) Journal

    And that is just it. It is alright. Damned by faint praise. It is a middle of the road device, so while it doesn't actually totally suck at anything, it doesn't shine at anything either.

    Take its size, no it is NOT huge. The biggest is the Nintendo DS. That one is larger then the PSP in all dimensions. The DS Lite is exactly the same size as the PSP if you cut of the rounded sides of the PSP. But it is huge compared to the Gameboy advance mini.

    So it ain't the biggest, and it ain't the smallest. I wouldn't want a DS in my pocket, I can't slip the PSP in as easy as a GBA mini.

    Its screen is amazing scratch proof compared to other devices (say the GBA), but I won't be as easy going with it as my DS.

    It doesn't have to play "lesser" games because of its hardware like the GBA/DS series BUT its hardware while similar to the PS2 is NOT close enough to actually be able to just play PS2 games. If for no other reason then that is lacks the controls for those games. This is perhaps the most damning (is that a word) aspect of the PSP. The GBA and DS are NOT capable of running the "big" games and so they don't. They have their own unique games, made entirely for the handheld. Quite a few of the PSP games are clones of "full" games, wich just don't fit on the console.

    Not that Sony/PSP is alone in this. I remember a GBA game that for its save system required you to note down a 16 character code. Yeah that is userfriendly, especially on the go.

    But simply put, I at least do not play handhelds as fullblown consoles, I play them on the move. That requires a certain style of gaming, for instance, don't make the game impossible to see in bright daylight.

    Other middle of the road stuff that damns it. It is an mp3 player. But Memory sticks are smallish and expensive. Plus the player itself is a bit limited. It is like carrying an old style HD player with you with the storage space of a flash player.

    It plays video, and fairly reaosonable, except that its storage space is barely big enough to hold a complete movie (and all your other crap). The dead pixels everyone seem to have don't help. No sony, dead pixels are not acceptable, they are the signs of a broken product and people can't look past them on a screen this small.

    So it is bigger then an video iPod, and indeed most portable video players, but its storage space sucks and its screen has defects.

    A nice thing about the PSP is that it has speakers. You can therefore do a thing with it that an iPod cannot do. Use it as a jukebox. Nice, except that its speakers lack power. Some people use their phones this way and their music is far louder. So you can use it as a jukebox, but only if everyone is really quiet.

    Its screen is bigger then the Nintendo handhelds BUT it has less real estate compared to the DS.

    Simply put, what is the PSP trying to be. If it was a handheld PS2 it would be a console on the go. But it ain't. If it had more storage it could be a media player. But it ain't. If it had stronger speakers, it could be a jukebox like system. But it ain't. If it games were more made for being on the move. It could be fun like the Nintendo games. But it ain't.

    The sad fact is that I play GTA on my PSP and that is it. I also use it to play movies and such but mostly I use it for as a jukebox for when I am in a hotel or something, while I play games on my DS.

    Frankly, with all its faults, perhaps the second biggest mistake by Sony (apart from making few "on the move" games) is that PSP games are just so fucking expensive. I rather buy a DS game then for 10-20 euros less.

    • by Stevecrox (962208)
      I love my PSP and really want to say your wrong, but you've pretty much hit the nail on the head with the PSP's faults, a 1gb memory card is £40 (twice minisd's price) the screen is rubbsih is bright light (like in the garden on a sunny afternoon.) I have used my PSP as a portable media player and it isn't that bad but it wouldn't have hurt to have had louder speakers. You know I hope someone from Sony is reading this cause

      I'd pay Money for a fix to play in bright light (most of the time I want to pla
    • by renleve (1074957) on Friday April 06, 2007 @04:55PM (#18640507)

      Take its size, no it is NOT huge. The biggest is the Nintendo DS. That one is larger then the PSP in all dimensions. The DS Lite is exactly the same size as the PSP if you cut of the rounded sides of the PSP. But it is huge compared to the Gameboy advance mini.
      This part is dead wrong. The PSP is 6.7 x 2.9 x 0.9, the DS is 5.85 x 3.33 x 1.13 and the DS Lite is 5.24 in x 2.9 in x 0.85 in--all measurements pulled from the units' respective Wikipedia pages. Even before you count the size (and inconvenience) of having a separate sleeve/screen protector for the PSP, which is built into the DS with the fold-down second screen, the PSP is nearly an inch longer than the DS and a full inch and a half longer than the DS Lite. Strictly speaking in terms of a device that is intended to be to pulled out and pocketed on the fly, I can't imagine how the Sony engineers could have botched their machine worse.
  • ...with features like Bloom and other nice features. The real story is that the engine used for GoW:PSP is being licensed to other developers. Once that happens expect a ton of much better looking games.

    The PSP isn't for want of games mind you. If you actually read charts the number of games for the DS and PSP are roughy the same, and the PSP has much more multiplayer titles. Also you can import all the games and add-ons from one territory to the next without installing a modchip. The main difference i
    • by Mr. Hankey (95668)
      The PSP's battery gives up the ghost a bit too early for me, unless it's just used as a music player. When I'm flying back and forth to Japan, a 10 to 11 hour flight, the DS Lite can run the entire time. The only caveat is that you have to be careful to not enable wireless features; RF transmission is not allowed during flight.
  • by Schnapple (262314) <tomkidd@viatexas.cPERIODom minus punct> on Friday April 06, 2007 @01:59PM (#18637869) Homepage
    Chris Remo of Shacknews spoke to a developer off the record and apparently the problem with the PSP is that, because it's so close to a PS2 in terms of hardware (it's inferior, but it's closer than a DS is in terms of power) and it requires such a huge budget to make a top notch PSP title that it doesn't make sense to do so, given that you could much more effectively make a PS2 game and have 100 million people in the install base, as opposed to the anemic PSP numbers.

    I think what might curb this would be when/if the PS2 ceases to be - but by that time Sony will have unveiled the PSP2 or bailed out of the market entirely.

  • There are lovers of the PSP milling around. Me being one of them. I know im just setting myself up for flamebait, but I think my PSP is awesome. I have a few qualms with it, but even iPod users have problems. Dont get me wrong, I have tons of portables (i even break out the old Lynx and Gamegear from time to time) but the PSP reigns supreme in my book. iPods are too simple for me (although i DO have a shuffle... who doesnt want a flash drive with a headphone jack?) and PDA's are too business-oriented for m
    • ...without being branded a shill anymore.

      I'm with you, I really like the PSP. I think it has a good library; I actually like the multi-platform releases, since I have more time to play the PSP than I do my 360. And it's multi-faceted in a way that the DS is not. I can't imagine commuting without it.

      But:
      It should be a little smaller; it's tough to even fit it in my coat pocket sometimes, since you have to keep it in a case due to the unprotected screen and thumbstick.
      I also wish it had built-in bluetooth,
    • I love my PSP. but for one reason, and one reason alone: Makai Senki Disgaea Portable [ign.com].

      Of course, i have to play it in japanese. There's not enough support of NISA to release it in english yet, apparently.

      And of course, i had to hack my PSP to do that.

      but the port is great.. It looks excellent, has more features than the PS2 version of the game, suspends and resumes perfectly when you flick the power button.. it just works really well. As a games machine, the PSP is perfect for RPGs and Tactics games.
  • Open it up to homebrew - make it an option in the settings so homebrew doesn't work by default, but at the same time you don't need to do anything more than go into the settings to (potentially) open up your PSP to homebrew stuff - and if you can put it on a memory stick then surely you can do that...

    Change the expansion adapter to be compatible with the iPod - I'm not as bothered about this, but a short adapter cable to let me use any iPod speakers or other expansions, and the added benefit of companies (a
  • Defending the PSP feels a lot like siding with Microsoft, but I'm going to do it anyway. There is nothing wrong with the PSP itself; Sony's attitude toward the PSP is the problem.

    The PSP is a pretty slick piece of hardware. There are many complaints about it (high price, long load times, large size, awkward controls, lack of games). The people who focus on these easily attacked points seem to miss the strengths of the system:

    * The PSP is powerful enough to emulate virtually all video game console systems
    • by goldcd (587052)
      I used to face the choice of upgrading the PSP for the game I bought, or breaking my homebrew/emu stuff.
      Still remember fearfully clicking to run GTA, knowing my homebrew was lost until the next crack came along.
      In the end I realized I had to decide between Sony UMD game, or homebrew/emu. As the amount of homebrew rose and the qaulity of the games dropped (well that's how it felt to me) I just gave up patching the firmware.
      I can't be the only one, but the outcome is that Sony's forced bios updates to allo
  • by amohat (88362)
    Give it a 30GB internal hard drive and improve the battery. Even improve the web browser to play youtube and flash in general. Skype would be huge. Make some sort of sharing via wifi possible.

    Do that and keep costs down, maybe $350 and you got a huge hit. Maybe save money and space by ditching the stupid UMD altogether. Digital distribution sounds like a better alternative, or maybe get games on Memory Sticks.

    God, it's so obvious...stupid sony.
  • "Sports titles and FPS's are two genres which I feel have never really taken off on handheld platforms, and the PSP has proven it can execute in these genres." Is this guy smoking crack? FPS's are terrible on the PSP, which can be fully attributed to the lack of a second analog stick. Hell, even if they had just moved it to the other side of the machine it would have worked. The only decent full aiming FPS I've played on a handheld was Metroid Prime Hunters; and that game wasn't spectacular by any means
  • PSP's should have some kind of backup utility so they do not become bricked. Wireless routers do this, why not PSP's? I would pay the extra $5 for a rom chip that prevents a $200 device from becoming useless.
  • The hard fix: replace UMD with DS-like memory cards. Explore possibility of introducing touch-screen technology.

    To be honest, the system isn't bad. But I don't like the UMD drive at all. I never felt like the lack of a touch-screen was a problem, but it would certainly enhance the system.

    Although the design and build quality is quite high, there's this feeling of fragility I have every time I handle the system. I'm afraid of banging it against something, let along dropping it. . I think the overly-complex
  • Companies like Sony and Microsoft (and I hate to say it, but more recently: Apple) are constantly hitting
    consumers with products and policies that are painfully none-too-subtle efforts at benefiting the company first
    and consumers as a distant second (if at all). Take the last 25 "upgrades" to iTunes, or XP that I've received.
    What's the improvement to functionality? Zero. Improvement to our corporate overlords? Priceless.

    The PSP falls into this category in at least a dozen ways, from UMD movies, inabilit

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